43-Year-Old Shortstop – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Craig Counsell in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Craig Counsell Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $2.1 million contract with Milwaukee in December of 2010.
Counsell has decided to retire.
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Craig Counsell: MLB Games Played By Position
Craig Counsell Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Craig Counsell: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Craig Counsell.
Counsell had the worst season of his career in 2011, hitting a paltry .178/.280/.223. His defense is still well above average, which might earn him a roster spot as utility infielder next season, but it's doubtful that he'll be able to turn around his offense in 2012. Now 41, he may end up moving on to a coaching or front-office role at this point.
Counsell saw things fall off from a career season in 2009. His 2010 was much more in line with what was expected from him and what he should provide moving forward. The Brewers brought him back as a utility infielder on a one-year contract. His greatest asset is versatility and making contact as a reserve option, which truly limits his rotisserie upside.
Counsell somehow had possibly the best season of his career at age 38 in 2009, hitting .285/.357/.408. He's one of those rare players who can still draw a decent amount of walks without hitting for much power. Add in above average defense at three infield positions and you have a pretty valuable major league player. Unfortunately, that doesn't translate into a valuable fantasy player and it would be best to look somewhere else despite his versatility. With second baseman Rickie Weeks returning from wrist surgery and the green Alcides Escobar slated to start at shortstop, Counsell will serve as a valuable veteran backup for the Brewers.
Counsell hit a meager .226/.355/.302 in 2008, which was actually a bit better than in 2007. At this point in his career he's limited to being a bench player and late-inning defensive substitution. The Brewers may bring him back in 2009, but nothing is guaranteed.
Counsell started the 2007 season in a platoon at third base, but was eventually benched for rookie Ryan Braun and saw his playing time fall off considerably in the second half. His .220/.323/.309 line suggests that he shouldn't see any playing time at all. He's under contract for one more season and will play even more of a bench role in 2008 for the Brewers.
Counsell was sidelined by a variety of injuries last year, including a shoulder problem to start the season and a broken rib in the middle of the year. The latter injury paved the way for Stephen Drew to take over in Arizona, rendering Counsell as a utility player. Now with the Brewers, he'll fulfill the same role. He offers a handful of stolen bases, but with potentially less playing time, those won't be as plentiful as they were in Arizona.
Counsell posted an OPS of .725 in 2005 - and that was his best offensive output since 2000. Those nine homers last year were a career best. He'd gone deep just 18 times in nine seasons before 2005. But, hey, he's got two rings. Counsell will start the year as the regular at either second base or shortstop, depending on how Alex Cintron and Stephen Drew look in the spring, but don't expect him to maintain even last year's so-so offensive productivity.
After getting non-tendered by the Brewers, Counsell landed with the Diamondbacks, who actually gave him a two-year deal. The D-Backs therefore have a new double-play combo in 2005, with Royce Clayton at shortstop and Counsell at second base. The signings thus reduce Matt Kata and Alex Cintron to utility infielder status, and the Diamondbacks using the most mediocre combination possible.
Remember during 2001 and 2002, when the media in Arizona were all saying that Counsell was the team's MVP? No one was saying that in 2003, as Counsell missed almost three months with a dislocated thumb, and then a stiff neck; when he was playing, he wasn't hitting much at all, hitting .234 with a woeful .631 OPS in 88 games. Counsell went to Milwaukee in the Richie Sexson deal, and will basically keep the shortstop position warm for J.J. Hardy.
If you really believe that Craig Counsell was Arizona's MVP in 2002, then we invite you to log off this site and go elsewhere for the serious fantasy baseball analysis you deserve - Entertainment Weekly, say, or People magazine, or anything written in the New York Post. With no power and average-at-best on-base skills, his best fantasy value would be as a second baseman consistently batting second in the order. However, with Junior Spivey at second everyday, Counsell probably starts the spring sharing third base with Matt Williams, which is bad news three ways from a fantasy standpoint. First of all, Counsell won't get everyday playing time, and he gets a lot of his roto value from the runs-scored counting stat; secondly, his lack of power doesn't make him a good option compared to other NL third basemen; finally, Bob Brenly will probably put the Counsell/Williams spot sixth or so in the order, with few RBI threats behind them (which won't help runs scored, either).